Complaint: Armed robbery led to domestic violence, standoff with cops

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Jake Magee
Monday, November 13, 2017

JANESVILLE—An armed robbery led to a domestic dispute during which a woman's life was threatened and at least one gunshot was fired, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

Rache T. Boyd, 22, Madison, and Eric B. Fenne, 28, of 2306 E. County M, Milton, were charged Monday in Rock County Court with party to armed robbery. Boyd is accused of using Fenne's handgun to rob a Janesville gas station early Thursday morning, leading to a six-hour standoff with police until Boyd and Fenne eventually surrendered.

Boyd also is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and repeat negligent handling of a weapon after admitting to shooting a couple shots into the air at Fenne's home to scare his girlfriend, according to the complaint.

Fenne also is charged with strangulation and suffocation and false imprisonment after being accused of strangling his girlfriend after she caught him having sex with Boyd, who is Fenne's ex-girlfriend, according to the complaint.

The crimes began with Boyd using a handgun to rob Stop N Go, 714 Center Ave., Janesville, at about 1:41 a.m. Thursday. She demanded money and cigarettes before fleeing with Fenne, who was waiting in a vehicle outside, Boyd told police, according to the complaint.

Employees later estimated the loss at $89 and 17 to 19 packs of cigarettes, according to the complaint.

Boyd told police Fenne coerced her into robbing the gas station and that she'd be in for a "rude awakening" if she didn't. Boyd said Fenne gave her a black hooded sweatshirt and his handgun, which she used to rob the store, according to the complaint.

Fenne drove Boyd to Madison and then back to the rural Milton home he shared with his girlfriend. Fenne's girlfriend told police Fenne said, "Look what I got," held up a wad of bills and tossed his girlfriend a pack of cigarettes as he entered the home, according to the complaint.

Fenne's girlfriend sat with him and Boyd as they watched news coverage of the robbery. The broadcast had a ticker mentioning a shooting in Madison, and Boyd said to Fenne, "There goes you." Both laughed as they watched the news, Fenne's girlfriend told police, according to the complaint.

Fenne bragged he and Boyd had robbed a gas station and claimed he'd killed someone. Fenne said, "If I get caught, I'm gone," his girlfriend said, according to the complaint.

Fenne's girlfriend lay down in the bedroom and heard Fenne and Boyd having sex in the living room. She confronted them and slapped Fenne across the face. Fenne told Boyd to shoot his girlfriend in the head, Fenne's girlfriend told police, according to the complaint.

Boyd picked up the handgun off the counter, cocked it and pointed it at Fenne's girlfriend's head, she said. Boyd denied pointing the gun at her. Boyd eventually opened the front door and fired at least one shot into the air, according to the complaint.

Fenne's girlfriend tried to leave, but Fenne grabbed her by the throat and suffocated her for 15 to 20 seconds, she told police. She eventually escaped and contacted police, according to the complaint.

During the ensuing standoff, Boyd eventually exited the home and was arrested. Law enforcement used an irritating, pepper spray-like gas in the basement to force Fenne out of the home, and he was arrested.

Officers found ammunition, 13 packs of cigarettes in a plastic shopping bag, some cash and a pistol in the home, according to the complaint.

Fenne's girlfriend showed up to Fenne's court appearance Monday and said she wanted to continue to have contact with him. She said she is pregnant with Fenne's child.

Court Commissioner Larry Barton ordered Boyd and Fenne have no contact with each other or Fenne's girlfriend.

Boyd will next appear in court at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Fenne will appear in court at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22.

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